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Teens to Receive Character Awards

The McLean Citizens Association will present five Teen Character Awards in a 2 p.m. ceremony at Lewinsville Park on McLean Day.

It is the eighth year for the awards, presented to teens who have “on their own and without compensation, helped out in their neighborhood or community.” They are recognized and presented as an example for other young people, said Jan Auerbach, who coordinates the awards for the MCA.

The winners are Ashley Duda and Thomas Hayne of Langley High School, Elizabeth Harwood and Carly Rush of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and Christopher Miller of St. Stephens and St. Agnes School.

Alexandra Dudas

Alexandra Dudas, a senior at Langley High School, was an aide in a preschool class at Franklin Sherman Elementary School for one afternoon a week during the fall semester.

She helped autistic students there, playing games, preparing teacher materials, and putting away toys.

Dudas also did extra chores at home while her mother was recuperating from a broken knee.

Thomas Hayne

Thomas Hayne, a sophomore at Langley, was honored because he visits his grandmother at a nursing home once a week. She is confined to a wheelchair, but Hayne takes her for strolls around the garden and pond at Fairfax Nursing Center, holding her hand, and reminiscing about fun times they have experienced.

According to the narrative accompanying his award, Hayne’s visits were a source of joy for his grandmother, who also suffers from dementia but “breaks into a big smile” when her grandson appears.”

Elizabeth Harwood

Elizabeth Harwood, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Jefferson), volunteers three days a week in the engineering department at radio station WAMU last summer.

She helped record interviews and record news reports. She helped to edit a recording about Sept. 11, a collaborative national effort that employed her estimable computer skills.

Harwood manages sound and lighting for programs held in the Jefferson theater.

Carly Rush

Carly Rush, a junior at Jefferson, coordinated the “Big Sibs” program there last summer, which matches freshmen with upper-class mentors who share similar interests. She organized tours of the school, student speakers on clubs and sports, and get-to-know-you activities.

Christopher Miller

Under the Kids on Ice program at Ft. Dupont Ice Arena, Christopher Miller, a sophomore at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes, teaches ice hockey and skating to children in Anacostia. He also volunteered to work with Grandma Rita’s Children, a program that presents inner city children with opportunities to attend cultural, sporting, and educational events.

Miller works on math and study skills with students at MacFarland Middle School in Washington who participate in the Colin L. Powell Leadership Program. He also organizes skating and kickball games there.